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It was an upset of gigantic proportions. But it was also history in the making. Talented trotter Amaretto Sun and harness racing teenage driver Sheree Tomlinson proved victorious in today’s (Friday) Gr.1 $300,000 Haras des Trotteurs Dominion Handicap at Addington in Christchurch. Prepared by respected horseman Ken Ford, Amaretto Sun was friendless in the betting and saluted at odds of $91.20 while defeating The Foot Tapper and Monty Python in the 3200m stand-start classic, the biggest trotting event staged in New Zealand and first staged in 1911. Tomlinson, 19, becomes the first female driver to win the time-honoured trotting feature and showed patience beyond her youthful years when guiding the Sundon gelding to victory. The pre-race hype focused on Tuesday’s Trotting Free-For-All winner Great Things Happen with many expecting the giant trotter to repeat his crushing victory while the flashy Bordeaux was tipped to be his biggest challenger. When the strands released, Amaretto Sun pounced on the early lead before releasing The Foot Tapper while Great Things Happen quickly moved forward and tackled for the lead role. With Great Things Happen controlling the speed, there were little or no moves within the first mile of the event which had punters on good terms with themselves. The lead time was covered in 2:06.8. The first move in the race came via Bordeaux who moved three-wide with 1300m to run while Daryl Boko and Dark Horse joined the developing cover. But Great Things Happen continued to cruise in the leading role and posted sectionals of 29.1 and 29.5 seconds for the first half of the final mile. Approaching the home turn, Great Things Happen found little when challenged quickly by Bordeaux while The Foot Tapper and Amaretto Sun went to the passing lane with Monty Python and Harriet Of Mot both starting to charge deeper off the track. At the 100m mark, it was Amaretto Sun who struck the lead while The Foot Tapper, Bordeaux and Monty Python battled hard. Harriet Of Mot, who almost fell soon after the start, made a break in the final stages and cost itself a certain placing. At the finish, it was Amaretto Sun who sprinted best to score by over a length from The Foot Tapper with another half-length back to Monty Python in third while Bordeaux finished a close-up fourth. The final half was covered in splits of 29.4 and 29.7 seconds. The gross time was 4:04.7 – the mile rate was 2:03.0. It was well outside of the race record set twelve months earlier when Monbet trotted 4:00.7. Race favourite Great Things Happen weakened to finish 11th. "He felt good in the running and has so much speed. It felt amazing," Tomlinson said. “It’s very special for the family.” She added. Tomlinson is the granddaughter of Ford and the family has enjoyed tremendous success in recent times with outstanding trotter Marcoola. The shock result provided Tomlinson with her maiden Group One triumph and it’s a victory she will never forget. Amaretto Sun's sire Sundon won the Dominion in 1990. The next leg of the 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters takes place at TABCORP Park, Melton on January 27 with the running of the $300,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star. Chris Barsby

Addington harness racing fixed odds movers as at 10:40am   Race 1 - Jaw D Nancy $7.20 is best backed on the win 'book' but Musculus $1.90 - $1.75 is huge in multi betting. Agatha Tyron is starting to attract some interest at $14.00.   Race 2 - Star Commander $8.80 - $5.50 leads win betting over the $1.35 - $1.30 favourite Major Shard who is the only runner wanted in multi betting.   Race 3 - The early win mover here is Pantastic $8.20 - $6.00 with Shezacullengirl $4.00 the next best backed over Rakarover $8.80. Somejoy $3.20 easily leads multi betting over Pantastic & Shezacullengirl.   Race 4 -  The outsider Sundons Flyer $26.00 - $16.00 is the best backed in win betting with Ronald J $2.40 leading multi betting over Everybody Knows $4.50.   Race 5 -  Best backed is Mikey Maguire $5.00 - $4.60 over Bubble Gum $9.00 - $7.50 and Editorial $7.80.   Race 6 -  The Fixer $1.70 - $1.50 is the only runner wanted in win & multi betting.   Race 7 - Valmagne $23.00 - $21.00 leads win betting over Muscles Galore $2.70 with that runner leading multi betting over the former runner.   Race 8 - Forgotten Highway $5.00 is best backed over James Dean $6.00 with that runner leading multi betting over Mongolian Storm $3.20.    Race 9 - Great Things happen $1.95 - $1.75 has taken a $2,000 bet $1.80 and easily leads multi betting going 4 to 1 in ticket sales over Bordeaux $3.70 - $4.20. Harriet Of Mot $13.00 - $11.00 has attracted some early win support also.   Race 10 - American Tart $2.60 - $2.40 is the best backed runner easily with bets of $1,250 at $2.60 & $1,333 at $2.50 the largest taken so far. Bonnie Joan $2.10 leads multi betting over American Tart.   Race 11 - Dream About Me $5.80 leads win betting over Ultimate machete $3.70 & Tiger Tara the $2.60 favourite. Tiger Tara is easily the best backed in multi betting over Dream About Me and Jack's Legend $3.50.    Race 12 - Aloka $4.20 leads win betting over Tennyson Bromac $6.00 & Bare Knuckle $3.40. In multi betting the only two wanted early in order are Funatthebeach $2.50 & Bare Knuckle.    The top 6 best backed multi runners in order: R9 -   Great Things Happen $1.75  R2 -   Major Shard $1.30  R6 -   The Fixer $1.50  R1 -   Musculus $1.75  R11 - Tiger Tara $2.60  R12 - Funatthebeach $2.50   Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

Jack's Legend gets the perfect chance to replicate the richest win of his career on an even bigger stage at Addington Raceway in Christchurch today. A driving masterclass from Zachary Butcher helped Jack's Legend cause a huge upset at the Harness Jewels in June when he blasted across to a shock early lead before trailing Ultimate Machete and waiting until late in the straight to surge past him via the passing lane. He meets Ultimate Machete again in the $260,000 NZ Free-For-All today but if Butcher wants to try those lead-then-trail tactics again he will probably end up following a different rival, Australian visitor Tiger Tara. The pair chased home Lazarus, who is absent today as he travels to the Perth Inter Dominions, in the New Zealand Cup on Tuesday and while Jack's Legend was impressive in second, Tiger Tara was the run of the race outside Lazarus. He was parked for much of the race before galloping and losing four lengths at the 800m mark when he jumped a mark left on the track by the Seal The Deal/Dream About Me meelee at the start of the race. Tiger Tara has developed high gate speed since being sold to Australia and driver Todd McCarthy says he will be using it today. "He gets off the gate well and loves to lead and run along so that will be the plan," he says. "And I think most of the other drivers would be keen to follow him because he will give whoever is in the trail their chance," says McCarthy. "I was thrilled with him in the Cup and he has come through it really well." For all the talent of Ultimate Machete and Dream About Me, if Tiger Tara leads with Jack's Legend trailing they have a huge advantage. The question of the $260,000 may be whether Jack's Legend has enough change up speed to slingshot Tiger Tara. Ultimate Machete can win but will have to do it the hard way while Dream About Me's nightmare week continues with her wide draw. The draws have been kind to Great Things Happen, though, in the $300,000 Dominion Trot as he secured the front line while key rival Bordeaux will have to start from the second line. There is little between the pair on raw ability but Bordeaux is at his most potent when able to lead and roll even sectionals, which now looks unlikely. Great Things Happen was awesome winning the Trot Free-For-All on Tuesday. Trainer-driver Gavin Smith says he has pulled up perfectly. "I got a blood [sample] done and it is even better than it was going into Tuesday," says Smith. "I have been thinking for a while it is a race in two between us and Bordeaux so to draw in front of him is a big advantage and I'll be keen to get to the front." Smith says punters concerned about Great Things Happen returning to standing start after the hustle and bustle of two recent mobile starts need not worry. "I can't remember the last time he galloped away. "In fact, I'd love the start to be a long one with some waiting around because he will just relax and then perk up when I ask him to go," says Smith. If Smith is right and Great Things Happen is able to lead, it is hard to see him getting beaten. Michael Guerin  

We are half-way through cup week 2017 with some great racing still to come, including the $300,000 Haras des Trotteurs Dominion Handicap on Friday along with an abundance of fanastic supporting races. Last week Tony Herlihy had the best winning dividend, when Classy Chapel won the last race at Cambridge and paid $6.10 and $2.20 on the tote. Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often. Ashburton on Thursday John Curtin - John says Come Dance With Me will go close to winning at Ashburton in Race 2 Mark Jones - Mark thinks that Noble Lavros is a chance at Ashburton in Race 3 Harnesslink Reporter - thinks Major Hippie can go close to winning at Ashburton in Race 11   Addington on Friday Gerard O'Reilly - Gerard is going for Agatha Tyron as his best drive this week at Addington in Race 1 Blair Orange - Blair thinks his best drive would be Some Joy at Addington in Race 3 Bob Butt -  Bob says his best chance this week is Ronald J at Addington in Race 4 Gavin Smith - Gavin is opting for Great Things Happen as his best chance this week in Race 9 Nathan Williamson - Nathan says his best chance this week is Dark Horse in the Dominion Handicap Race 9 Matthew Williamson - Matthew is opting for Delishka as his best drive this week in Race 10 John Morrison - John likes the chances of Seaswift Joy at Addington in Race 10 Cran Dalgety - Cran thinks Tiger Tara can go close in the NZ FFA on Friday at Addington in Race 11   Auckland on Friday night Andre Poutama - Andre is going for Sea Of Gold as his best chance this week in Race 1 Tony Herlihy - Tony thinks that Hot Flush would be a place chance this week also in Race 1 Todd Macfarlane - Todd says his best chance would be Caitlyn Clarke at Auckland in Race 4 Maurice McKendry - Maurice is going for Lemond as his best chance this week in Race 6 Stephen Richardson(TAB) - Stephen thinks that Motown will be hard to beat in Race 7   Wyndham on Sunday Craig Ferguson - Craig thinks his best drive this week could be Rocking Robyn in Race 3 Andrew Suddaby - Andrew is going for Larch as his best drive this week at Wyndham in Race 4 Brad Williamson - Brad thinks his best drive this week is​ Two Ply at Wyndham in Race 5 Rory Mcllwrick - Rory thinks his best chance this week is Gotta Good Looker at Wyndham in Race 6 Shane Walkinshaw - Shane says his best chance this week is Navajo Art at Wyndham in Race 7 Racechat - Lance thinks that Millwood Daisy is a good winning chance at Wyndham in Race 8 Terry Chmiel - Terry says his best drive this week is Black Regal Princess also in Race 8 Brent Barclay - Brent is going for Duke Of Wellington as his best chance this week in Race 10   Harnesslink Media  

Dream About Me's Inter Dominion campaign mirrors her New Zealand Cup - over before it began. The glamour pacing mare was knocked out of Tuesday's $800,000 New Zealand Cup before she had taken a stride, Seal The Deal swinging around at the start and stopping her in her tracks. Now her connections have decided against putting her on a plane to Perth today to contest the Interdoms, which start tomorrow week. Cup winner Lazarus will go along with Have Faith In Me while their stablemate Piccadilly Princess will contest the mares races at the Perth carnival.   "I was happy for her to go or not go but her owners said they were just as happy for her to stay here," said trainer Mark Purdon. "She can occasionally have hoof problems and the three runs in a week for the heats may not have been the best thing for her. So she will go to the Free-For-All on Friday [tomorrow] then the mares races at Auckland next month and the Auckland Cup again." Dream About Me won the Auckland Cup in race record time last season and could be joined in the race by stablemates Heaven Rocks and Vincent. By not going to Perth she is the surprise entry for tomorrow's $260,000 sprint, while Heaven Rocks is an equally surprise omission. He disappointed Purdon with his manners in the Cup, the big occasion clearly getting to him. Dream About Me would have been favourite for the Free-For-All but has drawn the outside of the front line while New Zealand Cup placegetters Jack's Legend (3) and Tiger Tara (5) are drawn to control the race. Tiger Tara, who was a gigantic third in the Cup after galloping down the back straight when he jumped a mark on the track, was originally set to miss tomorrow's race as he too is heading to Perth. But he is instead flying over the weekend, going from Christchurch to Sydney, Melbourne and then Perth all in one day. The New Zealand TAB has Lazarus $2.40 to win the Inter Dominions, while Australian bookmakers have him as long as $3.20. Another big name hugely disadvantaged by a group one draw tomorrow is Bordeaux in the $300,000 Dominion, with the free-going trotter to start off the second line while brilliant Tuesday's Trotting Free-For-All winner Great Things Happen will start off the front. Michael Guerin

Money talks. And it talks all languages. Champion pacer Lazarus is no exception to this theory as he became the latest harness racing dual winner of the Gr.1 $800,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup at Addington today (Tuesday). Starting as the shortest priced favourite in the races history, punters couldn't get enough of the handsome five-year-old stallion in lead-up to the biggest event on the New Zealand racing calendar. Even today, on race day, punters queued to back the hottest pacing talent in this part of the world and like most with that compelling pulling power, most if not all, were their today to witness a champion in action. By jump time, Lazarus started at odds of $1.40 – almost unthinkable! But there was no cause for concern, a clean getaway had the Mark Purdon trained and driven superstar in front within 400m before turning the 3200m stand start feature into a procession. As it stood, Lazarus had never been beaten once he led and that record remained intact after racing clear in the home straight to score by 5 3/4 lengths from Jacks Legend while the Australian trained Tiger Tara filled third despite breaking with 800m remaining. His winning time was 3:55.0 – a mile rate of 1:58.1. "The start was important and he made a great go of it today,” Purdon said. “He's a pleasure to train. There's no fuss about him, nothing smart about him, he's just one of the boys in the barn and just a lovely horse.” He added. It was Purdon's fifth Cup success - Il Vicolo (1995/96), Adore Me (2014) while Lazarus has now recorded back to back victories. And just like Il Vicolo, Lazarus recorded a slower time in winning his second Cup compared to his maiden triumph. Lazarus now joins Monkey King, Flashing Red, Just An Excuse, Il Vicolo, Lordship, Highland Fling, Haughty, Lucky Jack, Harold Logan, Peter Bingen, Ahuriri, Reta Peter and Wildwood Junior as dual Cup winners. And given his current invincibility, he looms as a fantastic chance of joining triple winners Terror To Love, False Step and Indianapolis next year. With 31 wins from 36 starts and over $2.6 million in the bank, there's reason to believe the best is still to come from this pacing phenomenon and his record breaking mentor. While the Purdon name is synonymous, Mark has easily become the most celebrated in the Cup while father Roy and brother Barry have four victories. Today, a rare feat was achieved between Mark and Barry; a one/two result with Lazarus defeating Jacks Legend. Back in 1996, the brothers finished first and third with Il Vicolo (Mark) winning while Surprise Package (Barry) filled a minor placing. With Ricky May (7) and Cec Devine (6) the most decorated reinsmen in Cup history, Purdon has both gentlemen firmly in his sights with his tally of five. While the efforts of Lazarus and Purdon should be lauded, the deeds of super sire Bettors Delight shouldn’t go unnoticed either. It was a one-two-three finish for the Cams Card Shark stallion while it was his 4th straight Cup winner. The next leg of the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit now heads west, the $1.8 million TABTOUCH Inter Dominion series in Perth starting on November 24. And with two legs of the 2017/18 series locked and loaded, the two pacers equal at the top of the leaderboard with 100 points each are Lennytheshark and Lazarus and now they’re set to square off once again at Gloucester Park. The last time they met, Lennytheshark proved victorious when successful in the Miracle Mile back in February. It also coincides as the last time that Lazarus tasted defeat……nine starts ago! But who will do the talking this time around? Maybe the money will do the talking again? Chris Barsby

Lazarus has won the the harness racing $800,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup in emphatic style once again at Addington Raceway in Christchurch. Lazarus, who won the cup by 10 lengths last year, won easily again, this time by 5-3/4 lengths with enough in the tank for trainer-driver Mark Purdon to give a salute to the crowd before the finish line. "He's a champion," said Purdon, minutes after the win over Jack's Legend and Tiger Tara. Maxim was fourth. Lazarus paid just $1.40 for the win and it was a money back $1 for the place. READ MORE: * Live: NZ Trotting Cup day 2017 * Great clean-up begins after drunken debauchery at Melbourne Cup * Flashback: Kiwi flies to legendary Melbourne Cup win in 1983 * Expensive buy Embellish proves his value with 2000 Guineas win * Gingernuts a 50-50 chance to race again * NZ Cup Day 2017: All set for one of Canterbury's biggest parties ​Purdon, who trains with partner Natalie Rasmussen at Rolleston, controlled the race from soon after the start, though there was chaos there with Ricky May tipped from the cart of Seel The Deal and Lazarus' stablemate Dream About Me had her chances wrecked in the same collision.   GEORGE HEARD/STUFF Lazarus leads the field home once again in the New Zealand Trotting Cup.   Lazarus had the lead after 200m and was never seriously challenged. Purdon urged him to go 400m out and he put a gap on his rivals. It was all too easy. Purdon's brother Barry trained the game runner-up Jack's Legend, while Tiger Tara, now trained in Australia, did extremely well after breaking with about 800m to go, recovering to finish third. Mark Purdon said the key to the race was the start and Lazarus performed brilliantly after some practice at home since his last start.  GEORGE HEARD/FAIRFAX NZ Mark Purdon has combined with Lazarus to win the New Zealand Trotting Cup for the second year running.   Purdon said he had a look around with 400m to go, and said "let's go", pulling Lazarus' earplugs out and the horse responded. "He's a pleasure to train. There's no fuss about him, nothing smart about him, he's just one of the boys in the barn and just a lovely horse," Purdon told Trackside. Lazarus has now triumphed in his last eight starts and his race record stands at 31 wins from 36 starts, for prizemoney of around $2.6 million. Lazarus' next assignment is the Interdominion series in Perth, where he will tackle his Australian nemesis, Lennytheshark. It starts later this month with the final on December 8. Lazarus The Purdon-Rasmussen combination also had double-up success in the Group I Sires Stakes Final, with Chase Auckland keeping his unbeaten record as he marked himself as the horse of the future with a sizzling fast time. The son of Auckland Reactor paced the 1950m in 2:16.1, slicing 0.4sec of Ultimate Machete's national record last year. He followed out pacemaker King of Swing and Natalie Rasmussen just had to wait until the straight when the run presented itself and Chase Auckland sped home to win from a game King Of Swing by 2-3/4 lengths. "He had every opportunity to do it, it turned out perfectly," Rasmussen said. Chase Auckland The promising trotter Great Things Happen won the Group I Free-For-All for trainer-driver Gavin Smith. Mat Kermeen

The TAB has opened a Lazarus removed from the 'betting market (option 815)  and Heaven Rocks is the $2.50 favourite in that option.   Heaven Rocks is back on track for the New Zealand Cup after blood tests came back ok after the stable thought he might be coming down with a virus after working a bit flat yesterday.   Early Fixed odds Cup day money as at Saturday 2:30pm.   Race 1 - Breenys Cullen $13.00 - $11.00 is the best backed on the win 'book' over Trouble Giero $9.80 - $9.00. Lavros Jack $2.90 leads multi betting over Trouble Giero. Largest bets $1,000 at $11.00 Breenys Cullen & $1,000 at $9.80 Trouble Giero.   Race 2 - Conway Beach $4.20 - $4.00 is best backed on the win 'book' over Major Shard $2.40 with that runner just leading multi betting over the former runner.   Race 3 - A quiet win 'book' early with Alderback $3.990 leading multi betting over Donsmedad $3.10.   Race 4 - Thefixer is a short priced favourite at $1.30 but that hasn't stopped punters from anchoring him in this race for their multi bets.   Race 5 - Gupta's Cullen $9.20 - $8.00 & Goodlookin Chick $19.00 - $13.00 are the best backed runners early with the former runner just leading multi betting over Real Torque the $3.90 favourite. Largest bets $1,000 at $9.20 Gupta's Cullen & $600 at $19.00 Goodlookin Chick.   Race 6 - Marcoola $6.50 - $4.50 leads win betting over Ronald J $3.20 - $3.40 with the $2.80 favourite Great Things Happen leading multi betting.   Race 7 - American Brave took a $400 bet at $51.00 & is now into $21.00. Spankem $2.40 just leads multi betting over stablemate Chase Auckland $2.90    Race 8 - The Dorchester $1.90 easily leads multi betting over Ashley Lopez $2.30.   Race 9 - Hail Christian $8.00 & Ana Malak $10.00 - $9.00 lead win betting with Antem $2.80 leading multi betting over the stablemate Funatthebeach $2.60.   Race 10 - Lazarus is the shortest priced NZ favourite in modern history & punter's are not prepared to back any other runner to beat him & he is the best backed runner on the win 'book' with 90% of multi bets running through him. Heaven Rocks the 2nd favourite at $7.00 holds just 3% of multi betting on the race which shows the betting domination that the favourite holds on the race. The TAB has opened a Lazarus removed from the 'betting market (option 815)  & Heaven Rocks is the $2.50 favourite.   Race 11 - The Dominator $4.80 is easily the best backed runner on the win 'book' with the $3.50 second favourite Musculus the clear multi leader.   Race 12 - Bettor Trix $4.50 just leads multi betting over the stablemate Bare Knuckle who is the $2.40 favourite. Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

NZ Cup second favourite Heaven Rocks is back on track for the great race. His trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen sent shock waves through the race market when they contacted stewards on Friday to suggest the huge pacer was under a cloud. Heaven Rocks, who has had a topsy turvy season at best before a brilliant win at Addington eight days ago, had worked “flat” on Friday and the All Stars were worried he may be coming down with a virus. But blood tests taken after that workout came back on Saturday and the outlook is far better.  “We were thrilled with how his blood reports looked so he is heading toward the Cup now,” says Rasmussen. She will drive the five-year-old from the unruly in the Cup, for which he is the $6 second favourite behind stablemate Lazarus. In other Cup day news, high class northern mare Better B Amazed has been scratched from the junior free-for-all after working poorly. “She isn’t quite right so we will bring her home, miss Cup week and set her for the mares’ races at the Auckland meeting next month,” says trainer Steve Telfer. She joins Waikiki Beach and Locharburn as high-profile scratchings from the free-for-all.   Michael Guerin

Steve Telfer's magical season should continue at Cambridge tonight but the northern trainer expects the spell to be broken at Addington on Tuesday. Telfer has had a scarcely believable spring, sitting second on the national premiership with 19 wins and only the All Stars ahead of him. He is already almost halfway to his career best training tally of 41 wins set two years ago in partnership with Chris Garlick and has a realistic shot at a treble at Cambridge tonight with Kiwi Tintin (race six), Step Up (race nine) and Ideal Lass (race 10). "They all have great chances, but Step Up is probably our best winning hope and then Ideal Lass," says Telfer.   "She is pretty exciting and I see her as a Sires' Stakes contender. And while Kiwi Tintin might be driven with a sit, he has been working very well since his fresh up third." If all three salute then Telfer could head to Addington for NZ Cup day almost level with the Purdon-Rasmussen team and while he is hopeful of big runs from his stable stars on Tuesday he is realistic. "No Doctor Needed got what should be a good draw for him at barrier one in the Cup because he tends to be very safe away and should be tucked away on the markers," says Telfer. "Sure I'd love him to be trailing Lazarus but either way, whether we are three or even four deep I think he can run a place with that type of run." The barrier draw hasn't been quite so kind to American Brave in the Sires' Stakes Final in which he will have to come from the second line. "It doesn't sounds great but I am not too worried about it because the Sires' Stakes can be a strange race and as long as he gets into the three wide train at the right time he will get his chance." Telfer's best chance of a win on Cup Day could be vastly improved mare Better B Amazed in the pacing free-for-all. She didn't love the Kaikoura track when fifth behind Lazarus in the Cup there but drops into the perfect $35,000 race and could sit off a hot speed, circumstances under which she has been very potent in the north this season. Michael Guerin

The 23 win pacer Waikiki Beach has been scratched from his cup day assignment, but is likely to start three days later on Show day in the Woodlands New Zealand Pacing Free For All over a mobile 1950m.  The Woodlands New Zealand Pacing Free For All has drawn 17 nominations this year and is a race that will almost certainly include the New Zealand Trotting Cup winner from next Tuesday amongst the starters.   Lazarus won the New Zealand Pacing Free For All last year in a record 1-52.4 mile rate after winning the New Zealand Cup three days earlier. ______________________________ Unbeaten Auckland Reactor gelding Chase Auckland has copped a nasty draw in the $170,000 NRM Sires Stakes Final at Addington on Cup day. Or has he? Depending on scratchings Chase Auckland will start from either two on the second line following out the stablemate All U Need Is Faith, or if the first emergency (The Brooklyn Brawler) comes out, then that means he would start behind King Of Swing, who is a good chance to at least lead early before handing up to either another All Stars attacker, or even Alta Maestro who will surely head forward from his wide draw. Following out King Of Swing could be a blessing in disguise, as Natalie Rasmussen won with The Devils Own from three back on the fence in the PGG Wrightson Yearling Sales Final 2yo back in May this year, beating Alta Maestro who had tried to lead all the way in that race. Auckland Reactor won his first four starts in a row and then the Sires Stakes Final at his fifth start. Chase Auckland has won his first four starts and is having his fifth start in the NRM Sires Stakes on Tuesday. The Alabar Racing Syndicate who own Chase Auckland will be at the track in large numbers will be hoping history can repeat this year with Chase Auckland taking home the major prize. Whatever happens, the NRM Sires Stakes final will be one of the more interesting races on cup day this year.  Note: The All Stars barn will have at least six runners in the NRM Sires Stakes on Tuesday, and their stable have provided the quinella in the Sires Stakes Final for the last three years.   Harnesslink Media

Auckland Cup heroine Dream About Me has been dealt a shock blow heading into Tuesday's $800,000 New Zealand Trotting Cup because of a controversial inclusion in the race. Red hot Cup favourite Lazarus has drawn near perfectly at barrier six and after an easy trial at Addington last night is set to start the hottest Cup favourite in history. But his champion mare stablemate Dream About Me, who was the second place favourite for Tuesday's 3200m event, has been dealt a cruel blow in the barrier draws. She has drawn one on the second line, the only horse in the 14 horse field to draw the second line because the three horse starting off the unruly - Heaven Rocks, Have Faith In Me and Robbie Burns - were not included in the draw. For weeks it has looked like the Cup could only attract 12 starters, with 10 filling the front line limit and two on the unruly. Robbie Burns's surprise acceptance doesn't change the composition of the field greatly because he is on the unruly but the inclusion yesterday of rating 80 pacer Imola does. He has drawn alongside Lazarus at barrier five and has forced a second line to be drawn, with Dream About Me the unlucky sole horse to cop that position. There are always going to be winners and losers in barrier draws but Dream About Me's case is extreme as once Imola was announced in the field she only had a 9 per cent chance of drawing the second line marble, which is akin to being placed off a handicap or on the unruly. As one of the best standing start pacers in the race and an effortless race record Auckland Cup winner she would have been hugely popular on the place tote and with exotic bets and while her barrier by no means ends her chances, the reality is it shouldn't have happened. Because Imola is simply not good enough to start in a New Zealand Cup and hasn't earned that right, although you can't blame his connections for accepting. A speedy but battling mid-grade pacer who has been tested and failed against the best horses already, the five-year-old hasn't won since an $11,000 grass track race at Rangiora last December and has been unplaced in all five starts this season. But his connections have already paid $2700 in entry fees, money they would have lost had they not accepted. By starting they have to pay a final $11,500 acceptance but get a $15,690 starters fee, so basically starting in the race returns them $4190, rather than writing off the $2700 they have already paid. So their attitude is entirely understandable but in reality Addington shouldn't be encouraging mediocrity in harness racing's greatest race in the hope of more numbers to add tiny percentages to trifecta and First4 pools for punters who take the field in some legs. "Numbers create higher turnover so we haven't eliminated a horse from the Cup unless we had more than 15 acceptors in a long time," says Addington racing boss Brian Rabbitt. Which means what? If a one-win pacer from 100 starts wanted to start in the New Zealand Cup it could? After all, there was still one spot left unfilled for next Tuesday. Imola is way better than that, but so too should be the New Zealand Cup and the Addington committee should have used its discretion to eliminate Imola, rather than including him and punishing a horse who does deserve to be there with a second line draw. The fact they chose not too, while it makes financial sense to all involved, belittles the once great allure of having a horse good enough to start in the New Zealand Cup.   Michael Guerin  

Top harness racing trotter Stent has been retired. After he had his first workout back to the races this season, owner Trevor Casey said, "I hope we can get him back to the races, but I am philosophical about it"  "I will do the right thing by the horse and retire him, if there are any more front suspensory problems". Now the horse has suffered a suspensory injury in what was his good leg, prompting Casey and trainer Colin De Filippi to pull the pin on the geldings career. A multiple Group One winner, Stent only returned to the races from a 22-month injury-enforced break a fortnight ago, when he ran a 1-56 mile when fifth at Ashburton. He ended his career as a nine year old with 30 wins and 25 placings from 70 starts for earnings of $1,156,750. His more notable victories include the Great Southern Star, New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All, ANZAC Cup, New Zealand Trotting Championship and the Rowe Cup. Stent was also crowned 2015 New Zealand and Australian Trotter of the Year. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Lazarus has had his final warmup for the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup, running home nicely in last nights Cup trial behind winner Jacks Legend.   Mark Purdon said, "He felt good today and was only here for a quiet run". "I was happy with him and it will just be a matter of ticking him over now until next Tuesday". Lazarus has opened up a $1.30 fixed odds win favourite with the TAB bookmakers for the New Zealand Trotting Cup. Stablemate Heaven Rocks is the second favourite at $6.00 for the FF win.   Harnesslink Media

Only minor changes following last week's racing within the rankings. Following his win at Alexandra Park last Friday Maxim swaps places with Buster Brady in what is merely an academic change for the Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup rankings. In the Haras des Trotteurs Dominion rankings, again, just the one change with Monty Python supplanting Harriet Of Mot in 10th place. Poppymalda's recent withdrawal now takes those still in the hunt for the Dominion down to 23. The final field for the Trotting Cup is now solely dependent on withdrawals, however there is one more chapter to play out in the Dominion rankings, with those placing in the first three in next Tuesday's NZ Trotting FFA guaranteed there place in the $300,000 Group 1. For full ranking details click here! Courtney Clarke Marketing and Communications Executive | Harness Racing New Zealand 

Top trotting mare Habibti Ivy is in a race against time to be ready for next week’s Dominion. The Rowe Cup runner-up has been struggling in her work since her booming second to Great Things Happen in the Flying Mile at Ashburton last start and trainer Paul Nairn admits he is concerned.  I haven’t been able to get the work into her I would like,” said Nairn. “So she is no certainty to make it to Cup week but I will know more in the next few days.” Nairn says Habibti Ivy has a type of bruising on one of her heels and while she may be right by next week he is worried about the work she has potentially missed heading into a hard 3200m of the Dominion on November 17.  “Its called a sheared heel and it is bothering her in her frog as well.” If Habibti Ivy doesn’t make it to the race Nairn could still have both The Foot Tapper and Wilma’s Mate in the Dominion but the exciting Ronald J definitely won’t be starting after a late gallop cost him near certain victory at Addington last Friday  “He is being aimed at the Free-For-All on Cup day instead.” Michael Guerin

Addington harness racing fixed odds movers as at 3:10pm Race 1 - Bubble Gum $8.00 - $7.50 leads win betting over Carlaw Park $5.00 & Burning Rubber $4.20.   Race 2 - No surprise here to see the $1.26 - $1.18 favourite Funatthebeach taking every multi bet on the race with the largest bets on him $1,250 at $1.18 & $1,000 at $1.24. Largest bets $1,250 at $1.18 & $1,000 at $1.24 Funatthebeach & $500 at $25.00 Mahksman.   Race 3 - No Fears $4.20 easily leads multi betting with some early win money for Woodstone $11.00.   Race 4 - Bonnie Joan $1.85 - $1.70 easily leads win & multi betting.   Race 5 - A quiet win 'book' early with Donsmedad $2.40 leading multi betting over Foreverman $3.70.   Race 6 - Heaven Rocks $1.95 is best backed on the win 'book' over have Faith In Me $9.50. The favourite easily leads multi betting over Dream About Me $2.80.   Race 7 - Bettor Trix $3.00 - $1.90 opened up the 2nd favourite but is now into the race favourite & leads multi betting over her stablemate Elle Mac $1.65 - $2.10.    Race 8 - Spankem $1.80 - $1.90 is best backed in win & multi betting over his stablemate All U Need Is Faith $3.50 - $3.00.   Race 9 - Ronald J $2.80 - $2.30 leads win betting over Dark Horse the equal $2.30 favourite. Dark Horse just leads multi betting over Ronald J.    Race 10 - As expected all the multi money is on the $1.30 favourite Chase Auckland.   Race 11 - Mach Up $2.40 - $2.2 easily leads win & multi betting but money has also come for Pat Stanley $4.60. Largest bets $1,500 at $2.20 & $1,000 at $2.30 (X2) Mach Up.    Best backed runners in order for multi betting: R2 -   Funatthebeach $1.18  R10 - Chase Auckland $1.30  R8 -   Spankem $1.90  R4 -   Bonnie Joan $1.70  R6 -   Heaven Rocks $1.95  R11 - Mach Up $2.20 R9 -   Dark Horse $2.30  R7 -   Bettor Trix $1.90    Harnesslink Media Courtesy of Stephen Richardson (TAB)

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